Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
how much water should i change out if my ammonia levels are too high (.5 -1.ppm) on a 55 gallon tank? My nitrates and nitrites are zero.... noticed today that the water was a tad cloudy, tested and ammonia was up :-(
I did a 30%water change, vacced gravel and rished out eheim canister filter 3 days ago (sunday).... did i clean too much? tank has only been cycling since 1/21/2015 but levels have been perfect until today. advice please.... besides maybe feeding less :)
oh... and while tank is still establihing good bacteria.... should i only just rinse off the white filter piece? or all the baskets?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Don't clean the filter, only swap out media once a month usally. And every few months you can clean out the filter just enough to keep it working well. Otherwise don't mess with it, haha its gonna be dirty that how it works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
If you do a 50% water change when the ammonia is at 1.0ppm they should drop to 0.5ppm (or pretty close). Now 50% is a lot and you can change the temperature in your tank very easy, maybe do a 25-30% today and another one tomorrow. With your cycle new it is possible your cycle crashed after washing the filter.

Did you use tank water or tap water to wash out the canister?

When I cycle a new tank I won't vacuum until it is cycled for a month and wash the filter until month 2. After that I will wash the filter media every other month in tank water I have siphoned out into a bucket and vacuum about half the gravel once a month.



Other than the water changes to keep the ammonia down I would cut back on feeding. Don't stop feeding just feed less that will help with the ammonia issue until it cycles again. I'm guessing you have fish in the tank and if the tank was cycled it should bounce back after 3-4 days.(at least from my experience)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
i didn't clean the filter... like wipe down or anything.... but the ammonia was just too high for my like.
I went ahead last night and removed about 20% water, just popped around in the gravel a bit with my python cleaner to suck out some waste matter here and there as water was sucking out. I emptied 'filter canister water', but only rished off the white filter pad and the blue filter pad (prefilter and fine filter)... i left the eheim substat and the ehfi mech filter trays alone. I didnt feed the fish in hopes to see lower levels of ammonia. This morning the tank still is a tad cloudy ... ammonia reads .5ppm.... everything else is normal. so, what next ? what shall i do to get those ammonia levels to read zero?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
i didn't clean the filter... like wipe down or anything.... but the ammonia was just too high for my like.
I went ahead last night and removed about 20% water, just popped around in the gravel a bit with my python cleaner to suck out some waste matter here and there as water was sucking out. I emptied 'filter canister water', but only rished off the white filter pad and the blue filter pad (prefilter and fine filter)... i left the eheim substat and the ehfi mech filter trays alone. I didnt feed the fish in hopes to see lower levels of ammonia. This morning the tank still is a tad cloudy ... ammonia reads .5ppm.... everything else is normal. so, what next ? what shall i do to get those ammonia levels to read zero?

It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong to cause the issue.

Two more questions
How are you testing the water? (Strips, liquid, ....)
What is the nitrate reading?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
thanks warhawk! i didnt see your response until after i posted my todays readings. thank you for the advice. and yes... i washed off the white filter and blue filter pad in sink warm water (thats what the eheim directions said to do.... oops). didnt think of actually rinising it off in the bucket of tank water... thought it wouldnt clean it , since it was 'dirty' tank water.
okay. so now doing what i had already done..... what is the next step to get back on track?
Fish currently in tank are 2 plattys, 2 mollies, 2 tetras, 1 bumblebee chiclid, 1 common pleco, 7 neon tetras
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong to cause the issue.

Two more questions
How are you testing the water? (Strips, liquid, ....)
What is the nitrate reading?
my nitrate and nitrite were zero and currently using Tetra strips. I know many dont like them, but i have used them for years (i think the newer mfg ones work way better) and match up with the LFS test readings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
thanks warhawk! i didnt see your response until after i posted my todays readings. thank you for the advice. and yes... i washed off the white filter and blue filter pad in sink warm water (thats what the eheim directions said to do.... oops). didnt think of actually rinising it off in the bucket of tank water... thought it wouldnt clean it , since it was 'dirty' tank water.
okay. so now doing what i had already done..... what is the next step to get back on track?
Fish currently in tank are 2 plattys, 2 mollies, 2 tetras, 1 bumblebee chiclid, 1 common pleco, 7 neon tetras

I would guess that while your tank was cycled you had some of the beneficial bacteria on the white and blue filter. Most tap water has choline to keep bacteria from growing in the water system so when you washed the filters it killed the bacteria.

Let the tank cycle again it should be faster this time because you still have some the BB left in other parts of the canister. Let the cycle for a few weeks then just rinse those pads in a bucket of tank water. If you set some water aside before you start vacuuming the gravel the water will look cleaner and won't hurt the filters at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
my nitrate and nitrite were zero and currently using Tetra strips. I know many dont like them, but i have used them for years (i think the newer mfg ones work way better) and match up with the LFS test readings.

If the nitrates are zero your cycle has crashed. I have used the test strips in the past but after I got the liquid kit I won't go back I like it much better, but that's just me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
If the nitrates are zero your cycle has crashed.
well that sucks :-( sooooo at this point do i just not touch anything for the next few weeks (cleaning that is) and just limit food given? when should i remove water and replace again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
thanks warhawk! i didnt see your response until after i posted my todays readings. thank you for the advice. and yes... i washed off the white filter and blue filter pad in sink warm water (thats what the eheim directions said to do.... oops). didnt think of actually rinising it off in the bucket of tank water... thought it wouldnt clean it , since it was 'dirty' tank water.
okay. so now doing what i had already done..... what is the next step to get back on track?
Fish currently in tank are 2 plattys, 2 mollies, 2 tetras, 1 bumblebee chiclid, 1 common pleco, 7 neon tetras

I believe they say to rinse it in tank water rather than tap water because the chlorine in the tap might kill off the bacteria!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
well that sucks :-( sooooo at this point do i just not touch anything for the next few weeks (cleaning that is) and just limit food given? when should i remove water and replace again?

I would leave everything alone. Just feed light for a week or so. If the tank was cycled before I will cycle again must faster.

I have had cycles crash on the years and it does suck but mine always recover quick. Once you have Nitrates in the water again your cycled. I always give my bacteria about a month to get fully grown before I do any filter or gravel cleaning, water changes I still do ever week after it's cycled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I would leave everything alone.quote]

THIS will be easy for me to just 'not touch' since i will be out of town for a week. ....

i will be leaving all of the animal care to my husband while i am gone. I will have him check the ammonia levels after a few days.... if they are too high ... in the stress zone.... should just a little tank water removal and replace be sufficent? or still just leave it alone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
If you have already added prime or other chemicals, the ammonia could be locked and therefore already safe.

I would add some anacharis or other fast growing plants to consume the ammonia directly, remove carbon dioxide, and return oxygen to the water.

my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
If you have already added prime or other chemicals, the ammonia could be locked and therefore already safe.
the only thing i add to my tank is the Big Al's multipurpose aquarium water conditioner with each water change (to remove chlorine). The other thing i had added when i started up tank (and then a little capful here and there with water changes) was the API quickstart.

i have never really been a fan of 'live' aquarium plants..... just bad experience in the past so i just stayed away from them for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The water seems more clear today..... ammonia level is about .5 , nitrate are somewhere between 0- 20 , nitrite is somewhere between 0 - .5, alkalinity 40, 6.8 ph and soft at about 75

does this all seem okay so far?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
The water seems more clear today..... ammonia level is about .5 , nitrate are somewhere between 0- 20 , nitrite is somewhere between 0 - .5, alkalinity 40, 6.8 ph and soft at about 75

does this all seem okay so far?

I don't normally worry about how clear my water is but I will add a extra HOB filter to mechanically filter the water if I'm moving rocks around or digging up the gravel that will clear things up nicely.

As for the numbers
Ammonia .5 is a little high
Nitrite .5 is a little high
Nitrate 0-20ppm isn't too bad depending on which number it's closer too.

I would do a water change say 30% that will drop your numbers. As you now are reading Nitrite and Nitrate it means the cycle is working so maybe it didn't fully crash. As long as your getting Ammonia and Nitrite readings I would do water changes 3 times a week. After they stay a 0 for 2-3 days you can drop back to water changes once a week. I would keep testing the water for at least a month to make sure it stays stable.

Also I find it very helpful to get a note book and to write down your readings and keep a record of them so you can look back over the changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you Warhawk for reviewing my numbers.
and yes, the Nitrate was closer to the low end (closer to zero)...... and the fish are still all just acting as normal as fish 'normal' can be :).....
I do have a bubbler in each corner of the tank (i really like big fat bubbles) and also my ehiem filter return spray bar is just above the waterline to break the water surface (yes, i am one of the strange ones that like the water splashing sound) .... is this enough water agitation to get things moving about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
Your very welcome.

As for the water agitation that should be more then enough. One bubblier is normally enough but I have fish that enjoy playing in the current so I will add more to some tanks.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top